AUGUST 1907 - HIRAM PRATT DIARY
Note: These diaries were in the Waveland Public Library for decades but were disposed of by a librarian several decades ago. Luckily, another librarian's daughter (thanks sooo much Pam, at the death of her mother, Virginia Banta Sharpe found them in some belongings and gave them back for proper housing. A complete circle; however, only 14 of the 50+ diaries were saved from the library's incinerator. I'm a librarian too and thought since they'd been lost to posterity for so many years that it would be a good thing to transcribe them and give them to the world. They are currently housed in proper temperature/storage at the Crawfordsville District Public Library - typed as they were written
Note 2 : Karen Bazzani Zach (transcriber) was raised in the big 'ol town (500 people) where HA Pratt lived 5 decades before I was born. I remember the building where his little shop was and wish it was still there. What an interesting little place. ALAS! Progress ! Oh, and I've tried to type the diaries as is - mistakes & all
Note 3: Some information about Pratt -- he was born in Parke County, Indiana April 20, 1840 the oldest child of eight born to Erastus & Elizabeth Allen Pratt and died October 12, 1914 in his beloved Waveland, Indiana. He was twice married, first to the love of his life (he kept a life-sized poster of her in one of his cabinets at his barber shop, even long after his second marriage) Eliza Franklin Shaw (born Oct 23, 1841 died Oct 12, 1887), and #2 to his friend, Evaline "Eva" McMains. He was very active in the community where he and Eliza chose to live. He gave generously of his time and money to the Methodist Church in Waveland. For a few years, he served as Marshall of the town. Also, he worked diligently for his Odd Fellows, Rebekah & Knights of Phythias Lodges, was for a time on the town board, and read to those who could not read from the several newspapers he was agent for. Pratt volunteered and served for three years during the Civil War (Co. B, 36th Infantry), and spent time in the dreaded Andersonville prison. He and Eliza adopted a son, Willie Franklin Stump, age two (not sure ever officially or just had permission to take him from the Poor House in Crawfordsville) and he was an amazing young boy (high grades, worked in the church, quite musicially inclined, just an ideal child) until Eliza was taken to the hospital where she was operated on for six cervical tumors (one weighing six pounds) from which she died. Willie went wild after that and he and Hiram's second wife, Eva never got along. He ended-up in Reform School (for stealing a dollar twice from Eva among other small crimes), and later sent home to die due to consumption (what we know as tuberculosis) dying in Hiram's arms on April 12, in 1894. Hiram missed Willie and Eliza more than most I do believe as he wrote about them so often in these diaries. Just wish the rest of Pratt's diaries he wrote for over 50 years as a barber in Waveland still existed :( kbz -- ENJOY
Thursday August 1 -- $1.55. Paid 15 c for beef steak 10c for half doz bananas. Pearlys started for her home in Kansas City Mo at 3:43 p.m. Eva, Miranda and Mary Ellen went to the station to see her safe on the train. Her fare on the railroad was $12.56. We will be lonesome for awhile. Rained a little before 10 o'clock tonight. Mary Ellen is at our house tonight. Jim Alfrey will be in tomorrow.
Friday August 2 - Cloudy. 70. $4.10. Sugar 25 beef roast 35. Jim Alfrey came in on the 10 o'clock train. They started for home soon after dinner. The air this morning was tolerably cool. Fred Seybold will help me in my shop work tomorrow. He will take charge of a new 5 chair shop in a new hotel in Robinson or Bison in Ill. The first of next month. His rent is $45 per month.
Saturday August 3 -- $9.85. Cloudy 71. Paid 25 for ice cream supper given by the women of the Presbyterian church 10c for 2 loaves of bread 30 for 2 lbs of fresh pork. Fred Seybold helped me in the shop today. His receipts were $4.25. I gave him 3 dollars. He will have a nice shop in the new Hotel at Robison. He gave me an invitation to come and see him when he is properly installed in his shop.
Sunday August 4 - Cloudy 77. I took the horse and buggy up to Elmer Dietrich. He and his wife spent the day at the Shades and before returning home I visited Willie's grave. I noticed the weeds and bushes are about to take possession of the premises. At 11 o'clock and at 7:30 I attended church services at the Babtist (sic) church and heard 2 good sermons by HR Baker, the pastor.
Monday August 5 - Cloudy. 80. $4. The weather at night is cool enough for 2 covers on the bed for sleeping. Wheat is selling at 82 c per bushel corn at 55 c a bushel. We had a splendid rain last night. It will help the corn crop wonderfully. Sent the Record Herald a money order for $4.40. Expense 7c. There is a show camped here for one week. They give a good show and sell medicine too.
Tuesday August 6 -- $4.05. Cloudy 68. Mercury went up to 83 today 25 lbs of sugar (granulated) cost me a dollar and 40 c. Another splendid rain early this morning. Eva received a letter from Perla. She was at home by I o'clock the next morning after leaving here. The trunk was a few days belated. She is going on another visit soon to her husband's father and mothers.
Wednesday August 7 -- $3.95. Cloudy 86 Paid Guy Rice $1. Mrs. Moore 35. Street sprinkling 50. Miranda, Eva were up in the business part of town this afternoon. This was the first clear day we have had for a long time. The sunshine has greeted the earth nearly every day but only in spots from the open clouds. Holes as it were in them. Sent the Terre Haute Star $1.44. Expense 5c cooler weather promised.
Thursday August 8 -- $4.30. Clear 82. Eva and her sister Miranda visited yesterday at Frank McClains. His wife is a daughter by their brother James McMains. The Vaudeville show has gone to Darlington. There will be another one here next Monday night, "Daniel Boon." Then on Thursday 15 circus is billed for 2 performances. "Not the largest, but the best." $8.70. for 60 gal of gasoline.
Friday August 9 - Clear 86. $1.90. $1.20 for a small piece of breakfast bacon. Nearly 23 c per pound. Eva and Miranda spent the day at Marion Collings. He married a niece of theirs daughter of James McMains. 24 lbs flour 80c. 5 lbs corn meal 10. Blackberries are 25 c per gal here in the market some have contracted at 28 and some at 15. Eva has concluded not to buy at present prices.
Saturday August 10 - Clear. 90. $7.30. I was without help in the shop today. My supper cost 25 c and was eaten after 10 p.m. For awhile this afternoon it was real warm here in the room. I received a pension check for #6. I count this as good as a find. It is given to me. If I could get an increase of 12 dollars I would be fixed. I hope to get it someday.
Sunday August 11 - Clear. 92. I went to hear Bro EO Kelly at both services. I like to hear what he has to say yet I don't have to believe all I hear. I believe he is honest in his views but we don't believe alike in some things. At 25 minutes of 2 p.m .FN Johnson and I took a buggy ride of about 2 miles and were home 6 minutes past 6. Fount said he enjoyed every minute of the ride.
Monday August 12 - Clear. 86. $5. I ordered ice to be put in our refrigerator at 45 c per hundred pounds during the extreme hot weather. Sent the Indianapolis Star $10.40 expense 12 c. I treated myself to a dish of ice cream.05 Miranda spent the day at John C. Canines. Beef steak 35. Paid Guy Rice a dollar. Mrs. Moore 35. 19 years 10 mos ago my little lady died.
Tuesday August 13 - Clear. 80. $4. This date in October 1887 my precious little woman was buried in Old Fletcher ME Church cemetery, near Farmersburg Ind. This date in March 1894 our foster son William F. Pratt was buried in the Methodist Church grave yard in this town (Waveland Ind). I took down home tonight about a half gal of ice cream 50.
Wednesday August 14 - Cloudy. 81. $2.50. Paid $2.40 for repair on a wheel of the little wagon. The front wheels will soon have to be fixed, the tires are getting thin. Eva got a letter from Topeka, Kansas written by Nora Wilcox Walters. She was at Jennie Hannas. Raymond was in bed sick. He has been promsted ? again and will get 35 dollars per month, beginning tomorrow.
Thursday August 15 - Cloudy. 83. $1.40. Last night I took home 1 ¼ lbs of fresh pork 30. This morning I sent The Laundry at Logansport $5 cost 5 c for money order. Nancy kelso and her sister Miranda Ellis went to see Jim and Mary Alfrey. Mary is not well. They will return at some time tomorrow. We had a good refreshing rain a little before sundown.
Friday August 16 - Cloudy. 83. $3.40. Paid $10.50 for 60 gal of gas and 20 of oil. 9 ½ for oil and 14 ½ for gasoline. Paid Sant Moody $10 for 35 bales of oat straw. Nancy and Miranda will not be home until in the morning. Buddy Kelso has given me permission to send our cow out to his pasture. Emma Heslar is to marry a man by the name of Bryant tomorrow night.
Saturday August 17 - Cloudy. 81. $12 Jo Clark of Russellville was in town today and paid his paper acct of $.40. The Methodist Society will hold services in the Baptist Church house on tomorrow. George Grimes an old man died early this morning. He had a paralytic stroke over 2 years ago. The corpse will be taken to his old home in Virginia. Two gal of blackberries 50c.
Sunday August 18 - 62. It was nearly 9 o'clock when we got started for Sam Rambo's when we arrived there it was nearly noon. They were all well. In the afternoon several of the relatives gathered in and spent most of the time in Croquet - a game in which wooden balls and mallets are used. At night we all went to a musical entertainment at the Methodist Church. (Note: Although he didn't say, think this was the McMains reunion)
Monday August 19 -- $1.05. Paid Guy Rice a dollar. We all went over to Mrs. Ellen Grimes for dinner and at half past 3 p.m. started for home. Mrs. Grimes and Mrs. Rambo are sisters and are daughters of Sam McMains. We admired the beautiful growing fields of corn. Did not see a sorry field of corn while on the way II Rambos. Weather warm.
Tuesday August 20 -- $3. Paid SW McCormick $2.60 for 200 pounds of bran and shorts for cow feed. Our cow is now taken to pasture. Pasture was proffered by Buddy Kelso for 15 c per week it cost me to have her taken to and from the pasture. Mary Ellen is not able to do her house work and Miranda has gone to assist her. Lumbago is the complaint. Weather very warm.
Wednesday August 21 -- $1. Paid Mag Moore 35 c, Raymond Hanna an one of Harry McMains boys were at our house last night from 11 o'clock. Raymond and his mother came from Topeka last Sunday. She is in the vicinity of Lebanon now and will be here some time next week. Raymond is getting $75 a month now. He has a two weeks furlough. Cooler last night.
Thursday August 22 -- $1.50. I am not well and had no desire for my supper. Paid 35 for the return of the laundry on next Saturday. Charles F. Smith and his housekeeper were married in Crawfordsville yesterday. He has sold everything he had and will leave for Florida next Tuesday. He is nearly dead of consumption and cannot live through the winter.
Friday August 23 -- $1.70. Yesterday I paid for 25 gal gas $3.38 Sent the Record-Herald $2.52 expense 7c. I received a souvinor (sic) postal card from Rev. TG Pearce who at present is in England. He is pastor of the Presbyterian Church of this place. Aug 28 he calculates to start for home. The picture on the card is "The Market" illustrated. Buddy Kelso had his wheat threshed today. Rained a little.
Saturday August 24 -- $5.75. Paid 20 c for a gal of vinegar. Sent the News $13.13 expense 12 cts. Miranda Ellis returned from Alfreys in company with Charles Ellis of Bayous Meto, Arkansas. She was not looking for him. His mother will go home with him. They will go the forepart of next week. Warm today. Mercury 83 degrees.
Sunday August 25 - I remained at home all of this forenoon was not at all well - a few days ago I eat some new corn for dinner. It did not digest nor agree with me. I will eat no more of it this season. This afternoon we drove out to the shades and stayed about an hour and a half. Went to church tonight. Have not visited Willies grave for 2 Sundays past. Sam Carpenter was badly hurt by the over turning of a buggy.
Monday August 26 -- $2.50. Paid 75 c for flour 35 cts for 2 packages of Arbuckles Arrosa Coffee. Miranda and Charlie Ellis took dinner at Sam Rambo's. They had gone over to Clinton Falls to see George Hinton. He was not at home. Pd 10 c for a small bit of beef steak 5. for a small package of Gold Dust washing powder. JY Durham an old man died at about 10 o'clock this morning. Funeral next Wednesday. He was a mason.
Tuesday August 27 -- $1.50 paid Guy Rice a dollar. Mrs. Moore 35 c. I churned for Sadie this morning and got nearly 6 # of butter. We o not get this much every time. Churn twice a week. Jennie Hanna arrived this evening. Raymond had a bad spell of heart trouble which laid him up for an hour or more. Had a light shower last night.
Wednesday August 28 - 3.0. Cloudy 80. Two packages of A.I had already made a note of this. Charles Smith had a sale yesterday of all of his household goods yesterday and is now on the way to Pensacola Floriday. Charles Ellis and his mother have gone up to Crawfordsville. The County fair is in full running order. It will close next Saturday. I am about well.
Thursday, August 29 -- Cloudy. 83. $6.40. Charles McMains called this evening and paid me $37.78. He had been owing this since 1893. I gave him an itemized statement of his account. It was like finding that amount for I never even hoped for it. Eva and Jennie Hanna spent the day at Jim O'dell's. We ate supper at RL Rusks. We have had a warm day.
Friday August 30 -- $37.78 is the amount received from Harry McMains. The receipts of today will be added to that of tomorrow. I went to the fair yesterday. Bought Eva a pair of shoes for $2. Return railroad ticket cost 60c. Ticket for fair 25. Supper and dinner 25 c each. Express on Laundry for this week 35. Stayed all night or part of it at Jim Alfreys. Returned home on the 10 o'clock train. Rain.
Saturday August 31 -- $7.35. Cloudy 90. Paid balance on Quarterage due the ME Church .75. For supper 20c. Sam Scott was married last Thursday eve. WH Peterman died yesterday afternoon at about 2 o'clock. His funeral will be held in The Presbyterian Church at half past 2 tomorrow. He was in his 93rd year. Died at John Robertson's whose wife was his daughter. The weather was real warm this p.m. Jennie and Raymond have returned home.